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Saturday, October 14, 2006

No Doubt: Meshing the styles

ND002No Doubt is an American ska/pop/rock band formed in 1988. No Doubt is heavily influenced by New Wave music and reggae, teaming up with Jamaican artists such as Lady Saw, Bounty Killer, and Toots and the Maytals. No Doubt's multiple genre style is noted in the song "Move On" where they state "We meshed the styles of five alive and intertwined and fused it". Their hits "Hey Baby" and "Underneath It All" won Grammy Awards.
No Doubt was formed by John Spence (lead vocals) in Anaheim, California with his friend Eric Stefani (keyboards) in November 1986. Eric's younger sister, Gwen Renée Stefani, joined the group that same year as co-vocalist. The trio played their first gig on New Year's Eve 1986/1987. The band from then on began to play small gigs around the Orange County area. Tony Kanal went to one of these early shows and soon joined the band as a bassist. Kanal is one of three Indian-American musicians that broke into mainstream success, the other two being Kim Thayil from Soundgarden and Anand Bhatt of Anand Clique. In 1987, lead vocalist Spence committed suicide, leaving Gwen Stefani as lead vocalist. Although the band was hit hard by Spence's death, they carried on and began to develop a live following, mainly in the band's home state of California. In 1988 and 1989, two new members were added to the band: Tom Dumont (guitar) and Adrian Young (drums). In 1991, the band received their first big break and were signed to the American record label Interscope Records. ND003No Doubt's self-titled first album was released in 1992 and featured the single "Trapped in a Box." The album was not a success, and No Doubt's record label began to lose faith in the band. The recording for their second album, The Beacon Street Collection, was funded by the band, and, when released, the album renewed faith in the band from the record label and gained No Doubt some new fans. To simply get played on the radio, Gwen Stefani would call into local radio stations to request the band's music. In the fall of 1994, No Doubt would suffer yet another setback when Eric Stefani left the band because he did not like the direction the band was heading in and began to pursue an animation career on the cartoon TV series The Simpsons.

ND004In 2000, the band released Return of Saturn, their highly anticipated follow-up to Tragic Kingdom. The album featured a darker tone and was more lyrically advanced than No Doubt's previous work. The main lyrical focus of the new record had shifted from Gwen Stefani's relationship with bassist Tony Kanal to her new relationship with Gavin Rossdale. Return of Saturn was critically loved, but was not as commercially successful as their previous album was and the lead single "Ex-Girlfriend" failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. Also released as singles from the album were the tracks "Simple Kind of Life" and "Bathwater".

In early 2005, Tom Dumont released his own solo music project, Invincible Overlord, with friend and collaborator Ted Matson. Their music is downloadable for free on the Invincible Overlord web site, and they backed up Matt Costa on his 2005 tour. Adrian Young, the band's drummer, did the drums for many of the tracks on Unwritten Law's 2005 release, Here's to the Mourning.

The band is currently recording a new album that is rumored for a 2007 release date, while lead singer Gwen Stefani is also working on her second solo album, which is rumored for a late 2006 release date.

No Doubt – Live Caracas Pop Festival - Venezuela 2002


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